After one of the most turbulent years in recent history, Real Estate Weekly is proud to introduce its
2021 Leading Ladies of Real Estate.
This elite group of trailblazing women have been acknowledged by their peers for their significant roles in the past, present and future of the business and all of its many facets.
From efforts to help their companies navigate a global pandemic, to contributions to the ever-evolving cityscape, they have each displayed incredible commitment not just to their job, but to using their talents to shape they way we interact with the built environment and their influence to make it better for everyone.
We are proud to celebrate them today and look forward to their continued success.
Associate General Counsel
Most recent achievement: 2020 BEB Capital Dedication Award Recipient and 2016 BEB Contributor of the Year. While the spread of COVID-19 changed the face of business, Joi, in conjunction with BEB Capital, continued to provide uncompromising service and continuity of business throughout the challenging times in arranging rent deferral agreements with tenants and forbearance agreements with lenders to ensure all parties a successful future post COVID-19. As associate general counsel for BEB Capital for the past six years, Joi has facilitated the development and management for one of the largest Long Island-based real estate firms as it successfully targeted new business goals, handling acquisitions and divestitures of properties, assemblages of real property for rezoning, and re-development of industrial properties to mixed use, including those with an affordable housing component. Joi received a business degree from the New York Institute of Technology followed by a juris doctor degree from Hofstra University’s Maurice A. Deane School of Law. She began her career with a lengthy tenure at the law firm of Genoa & Associates. She is a member of the Theodore Roosevelt American Inn of Court, whose mission is to inspire the legal community to achieve the highest level of professionalism, ethics, civility, and excellence.
Director of Construction Safety
Site Safety Plans and Programs Management
CR Safety Group
Most recent achievement: Wilma oversees the planning, design, coordination and development of construction safety plans and construction logistics plans and ensures compliance with NYC Building Code – Chapter 33, FDNY, DOT & OSHA regulations. Her background in architecture has been key to untangle the most complex project and make it tangible. She earned her Bachelors in Architecture from the Universidad Nacional Pedro Henríquez Ureña in the Dominican Republic and began her career in site safety with the NYC Department of Buildings. She is currently working on more than a 100 construction safety plans for low and high rise jobs, including Riverside Center, a 31.5-million-square-foot mixed-use development in five buildings; Queens Plaza Development (Tower A, B1 & B2) : and Pacific Park, the mixed-use commercial and residential development in Brooklyn.
Linda S. Alexander
Alexander Marketing Corp.
Most recent achievements: In November 2020, Alexander Marketing Corp. celebrated its 20th Anniversary –virtually! Staying active in the pandemic was challenging, but the past six months have been among the most rewarding in the firm’s history: In October 2020, AMC announced the grand re-opening of Turnstyle Underground Market, a milestone for the City. In February 2021, AMC announced the launch of GridRewards, a groundbreaking program and free mobile app that pays Con Edison customers to reduce their electricity use, while helping save the environment. In March, AMC introduced Marcus Garvey Village, an exciting 330-unit multi-family project that focuses on the unique culture of Harlem and the community, rather than promoting gentrification. AMC continues to represent great clients with important stories to tell! Linda founded Alexander Marketing Corp. in 2000, bringing decades of media, marketing and real estate industry relationships together. Linda’s extensive writing skills have served her through stints as a journalist, copywriter, copy editor, composer, lyricist, jingle writer, and cookbook author. She has held positions as a cooking instructor at the 92nd Street Y and contributed to its “International Kosher Cookbook.” She is the co-author of Crown Publishing’s best-selling “Pojanee Vatanapan’s Thai Cookbook with Linda Alexander,” one of the first Asian cookbooks created for Western kitchens. Much earlier in her career, she was the music therapist for Kirby Hospital at Manhattan State Psychiatric Center. A devoted Upper Westsider who has been active with block associations, parks, and community-based initiatives, Linda co-founded Teddy’s Run in Theodore Roosevelt Park 1998 and sits on the Board of Directors of Friends of Roosevelt Park. A long-standing member of Community Board 7/Manhattan, she currently serves as Co-Chair of the Business & Consumer Issues Committee, working with neighborhood retailers and restaurants.
Vice president, Capital markets
Marcus & Millichap Capital Corporation
Most recent achievement: Developed operational and organizational infrastructure to facilitate the transition of the firm’s recent acquisition of Mission Capital. Erika has an extensive background in real estate and international business. She is responsible for expanding MMCC’s $7.67 billion total transaction volume by identifying synergies between the financing and investment sales professionals. Erika is developing tools and processes to grow staple financing revenue and build organizational infrastructure. MMCC completed multiple strategic acquisitions in 2020 and Erika is integrating these companies into the fabric of MM’s culture by identifying and implementing best practices company-wide. She is committed to promoting diversity and focused on expanding MMWomen, the newly launched internal women’s network that offers mentorship programs and supports community outreach initiatives. Before joining MMCC, Erika was director of Extell Development Company’s EB-5 Regional Centers where she raised over $775 million for numerous marquee developments. She holds a BS in Marketing from the University of Scranton, PA and an MBA from Baruch College, NY.
Marcus & Millichap Real Estate
Investment Services Inc
Most recent achievement: Expanded the firm’s Diversity and Inclusion initiative by founding MMWomen, a program which provides networking, professional development and mentorship opportunities for the women of Marcus & Millichap. Susan is Regional Manager of Marcus & Millichap’s Manhattan, Westchester, and New Haven offices. As such she drives a revenue stream of over $4 billion annually and offices of over 250 commercial real estate investment professionals. Susan oversees an inventory of $2.5 billion in exclusive listings, and the closing of over 900 investment sales and capital markets transactions yearly. In addition to her local responsibilities, she is spearheading the 2021 expansion of the firm’s diversity and inclusion platform, MMWomen, with quarterly newsletters and community outreach initiatives. Susan joined Marcus & Millichap in 2004 as an investment sales broker with the National Retail Group, managing the sale of shopping centers and net-leased properties throughout the U.S. Prior to joining, she worked with Forest City Ratner Companies as Director of Sales and Marketing for its New York hotel developments, and with Grubb & Ellis as Associate Managing Director of Investment Sales.
Founder & President,
The Berman Group
Most recent achievement: Sarah’s most recent accomplishment has been to open regional offices in Washington DC and Boston during the pandemic as well as to grow the firm’s international client roster. As Founder and President of The Berman Group, Sarah works to develop creative communications programs that increase business and reach new audiences. Over the past 16 years, she has grown The Berman Group into a global integrated public relations, marketing, graphic design and events firm with a client list of influential global owners/developers, brokers, lenders, investors, and financiers, as well as top contractors, architects and engineers, who count on The Berman Group to help drive their growth objectives and take their PR and marketing campaigns to the next level. Sarah’s work with The Berman Group’s clients — spanning Fortune 500 companies to global developers, government agencies and nonprofits — to develop winning publicity and marketing strategies is based upon her philosophy that strong relationships are the foundation of successful campaigns. Sarah has more than 20 years of experience in strategic communications and has earned a strong reputation for her creative corporate identity programs, targeted cross-marketing campaigns, innovative advertising and sales training programs. Sarah has demonstrated a strong and unflagging commitment to mentoring and promoting the role of women in commercial real estate. Philanthropic and community involvement are at the heart of the firm’s values, and Sarah provides pro bono services committees leadership for a wide range of not-for-profit and charitable organizations. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Columbia University in Urban Planning and a Master of Urban Planning from the Robert F. Wagner School of Public Service of New York University.
Most Recent Achievement: Within days of social distancing measures being announced, Amy commissioned and oversaw the creation of a “Return to Work” handbook for all amenity staff during Covid-19. Not only was this handbook used to support URBN’s own staff, but it was shared at no cost with URBN clients. Beyond a short-term response to help URBN’s clients stay open for business, Amy consulted with over 30 clients to help them plan for the long-term, working on initiatives such as implementing touchless entry/elevator selection, consulting on CDC regulations and guidelines, and providing invaluable insight to many property owners and managers on what has worked or not worked in other buildings/cities. Throughout Covid-19, Amy led her team of managers and frontline staff in the safe re-opening of over 30 facilities, with managed properties passing all Department of Health inspections. Amy oversaw the expansion of virtual concierge service offerings to residents in buildings via the URBN app as URBN added services to its app that include grocery shopping, package delivery, CDC-compliant cleaning, and more. She also co-created and hosted a webinar on “Gym Design During COVID-19 and Beyond” for the commercial and multi-family real estate industry. Amy co-founded URBN Playground with hospitality veteran Jeremy Brutus in 2016. A prominent lifestyle guru and fitness expert with an expertise in managing fitness facilities and programs, she oversees the fast-growing firm’s operations, fitness, programming, and customer service. Prior to founding URBN Playground, she served as Director of Fitness and Lifestyle programming for one of the nation’s largest amenity management corporations, and as founder of her own personal training company. She has completed more than 15 half-marathons as well as the New York City Marathon in 2019.
Director of Tenant Management
Samanea New York
Most Recent Achievement: Tammy has helped oversee the new Westbury mall’s $30 million renovation amid a global pandemic, working closely with tenants to direct all custom construction projects including large scale build outs and extensive interior upgrades. Formerly known as the Fortunoff Mall, the iconic Long Island commercial property spans over 750,000 s/f on 38-acres of land. Tammy has helped negotiate and facilitate the signing of a multitude of new tenants, including Bloomingdale’s Furniture Outlet, the property’s first anchor tenant in 20 years. She also helped sign the first 99 Ranch Supermarket in New York, which occupies over 45,000 s/f and is set to open late 2021, as well as developing construction plans for over 130,000 s/f of entertainment and home goods tenants. A member of Samanea New York’s executive development team, Tammy joined Samanea New York in 2019 and throughout 2020, worked alongside Dominic Coluccio, the property’s Chief Leasing & Marketing Officer, and oversaw the development of a Restaurant Row concept for the property’s new dining destinations including MoCa Asian Bistro, Korean Hot Pot & BBQ, and Szechuan Cuisine. Prior to joining Samanea New York, Tammy was the Director of Store Planning, Vendor Shops & Merchant Initiatives for Saks Fifth Avenue U.S. and Canada. She has also held positions with Bergdorf Goodman and DPC New York. Tammy received a Bachelor’s Degree in 2005 from the New York School of Interior Design. She is a member of the Project Management Institute and in 2016, was named a judge of the prestigious Retail Design Institute International Store Design Competition which works with universities across the country to develop retail design and architecture programs for students.
Great Ink Communications
Most recent achievement: Lindsay celebrated her 10th anniversary at Great Ink Communications in 2021. She has a decade of experience directing PR campaigns for her clients in the architectural, engineering, construction and real estate industries. Her strong relationships with the local, business and trade media and ability to work with clients to tell their best stories has led to placements about projects, successes and trends for companies such as Thornton Tomasetti, Populous, EW Howell Construction Group, Kimmerle Group, and Pickard Chilton. Her creativity, persistence and organizational skills make her a valuable member of the Great Ink team. Lindsay loves the close-knit bond that everyone who works at Great Ink has. Outside of the office, Lindsay is on the alumnae volunteer committee for the Northeast region of Delta Delta Delta. In addition to client management, Lindsay, a member of the generation that has embraced social media, maintains Great Ink’s website, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter accounts. She also helps the firm’s clients make the most of these valuable communication tools. She holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Maryland, College Park.
Lisa M. Fischman
Most recent achievement: Lisa employed a prominent D.C. law firm to accurately opine on a complicated HUD 241A, resulting in a much lower rate structure for a NY state healthcare facility construction loan, enabling the non-profit owner to successfully complete a magnificent expansion within its fiscal allowance. Everyone said it could not be done, so she did it. In late 2020, Lisa was able to consolidate two loans into one and save a five-star healthcare campus in Indiana nearly $300,000 for the balance of their 30-year debt. Renowned, for-profit, multifamily developers and owners, throughout the country, have become loyal clients because, according to them, she visits every property to meet the team on the ground, she listens and she executes flawlessly, efficiently and consistently exceeds expectations. With over 10 years of CRE experience, Lisa has closed $430 million in multifamily and healthcare real estate finance transactions. She is an expert in ground-up 40-year perm construction debt, and long-term refinancing solutions from $5 to $100 million. Lisa leads a team of underwriters, analysts and project managers and ensures that each loan is tailored to accomplish the client’s short- and long-term goals. She has used innovative financing to secure over 90 percent of all costs for the construction of a new market rate multifamily community, and, separately, structured the refinance of several affordable housing investment properties to garner a significant cash-out for a major, national, non-profit children’s organization. Lisa has presented at the ICBA conference in NY, she has been a moderator for JBNetwork and has served as panelist for Bisnow’s 2020 Women’s event. Her former career at advertising giant JWT sharpened both her communication skills and adeptness in understanding a client’s challenges and staying laser focused on finding solutions.
Most recent achievement: One of Donna’s most recent achievements was ensuring all BEB Capital employees were set up to work remotely because of the COVID-19 pandemic, acting as the liaison between the IT provider and BEB Capital to create a seamless transition in daily operations. She worked with all parties to confirm the equipment needed for employees to work from home effectively was ordered and delivered and made sure in-office equipment needed for video conferencing was properly installed. Donna’s quick and comprehensive work enabled a seamless transition for BEB Capital’s operations and ensured all employees could continue performing at a high level while adjusting to work from home. Donna plays a pivotal role in facilitating BEB Capital’s expanding scope of activities. Having begun work there as a paralegal in 2014, her value to the firm quickly grew as she took on the responsibility of researching and overseeing implementation of new software systems. In addition, she fills key functions in investor relations, managing and coordinating investor opportunities, and serving as liaison between investors and the executive management team. Although not a practicing attorney, Donna holds a juris doctor degree and is a member of BEB Capital’s legal department. She was a legal department manager for a Fortune 1000 company prior to joining BEB Capital and earned her law degree from Albany Law School.
Cindy Cigdem Gokay
Head of Sales
Reuveni Real Estate
Most recent achievement: After generating over $30 million in new deals at 30E31 (NoMad) and Dahlia (UWS), Cindy was instrumental in the newly unveiled project, Era at 251 W 91st Street featuring 57 residences. Licensed in both New York and New Jersey, she has over a decade of real estate experience. Cindy was introduced to real estate by an industry pioneer and has been thriving ever since. She started off as an assistant, graduated to doing her own deals, and followed through with delivering a 200-plus unit luxury condominium new development project to her firm where she was intimately involved from the rendering phase to building completion. Cindy now oversees sales at Reuveni’s array of new construction projects and is intimately involved with sales planning and management of on-site sales teams. She consistently collaborates with developers and cross-functional teams from marketing, architecture, interior design to construction, legal, and lenders. Notable projects include ground-up new residential developments such as the 122-unit Charlie West at 505 West 43rd St.
The Berman Group
Most recent achievement: Kate has been leading the Berman team through the launch of a suite of digital content and virtual forums, providing meaningful connection points, networking opportunities and thought leadership pieces over the course of the past year. She is responsible for working with select clients to develop and execute proactive communications and public relations campaigns. Over the past decade, Kate has leveraged her public policy background and experience working with high-profile business leaders, academics and prominent government leaders to lead effective public affairs campaigns on behalf of regional, national and international clients. She works to develop impactful partnerships and narratives that emphasize the key benefits of new urban developments. She has a passion for technology and sustainability and works with the firm’s clients to develop campaigns showcasing the advantages of sustainable design, energy efficiency and the creation of smart cities. Kate has served on the Real Estate Weekly Women’s Forum Advisory Council and is currently the Chair of the American Heart Association’s YP Board. Prior to joining The Berman Group, she worked in the communications department of the American Clean Energy Organization and was a writer for Global Art Laid Out (GALO) Magazine.
Senior Director of Real Estate, NY Office
Most recent achievement: Karen led the charge surrounding the PR for the Special Flushing Waterfront District in Flushing, Queens. The $2 billion project planned for Flushing’s waterfront –which included a series of zoning changes to pave the way for a 13-building mixed-use development to include more than 1,700 residential units and 879 hotel rooms, along with retail and public space – was approved by City Council in late 2020 following COVID delays, political opposition, community backlash and more. It was the first megaproject approved by NYC amid the pandemic, showing great promise for the city’s struggling economy that will now revitalize 29 acres of waterfront land that had been inactive and underutilized for decades. Kari was also tapped recently to share her real estate PR expertise as a speaker at the 10th Annual National Real Estate Women’s Forum. As the senior director of real estate in New York and an eight-year veteran of Relevance International, Kari oversees the execution of all real estate public relations campaigns in Relevance International’s New York office. She handles strategy and media relations work for a wide range of luxury residential developments, brokerages, master planned projects, designers and more. Current clients include Taconic Partners, Concierge Auctions, Dezer Development, Trimont Real Estate Advisors, 111 Murray Street, Houlihan Lawrence, and many other industry leaders. Prior to joining Relevance, Kari was vice president at Rubenstein Public Relations and was former director of public relations at Massey Knakal Realty Services. She was also an account executive at the boutique public relations firm in Houston, TX, and started her career as a newspaper reporter with The Journal News, a daily newspaper in the suburbs north of New York City. Born and raised in Michigan, Kari earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism from Michigan State University. She spent a summer abroad studying in Australia writing environmental journalism pieces for several publications throughout the country, and has happily traveled the world ever since.
Director of Strategic Acquisitions
Himmel + Meringoff Properties
Most recent achievement: Andrea has been working to expand the company’s $2 billion New York City portfolio of outer borough industrial warehouses and secondary office buildings in Manhattan. Prior to joining Himmel + Meringoff in 2018, Andrea held a number of key positions with several well-known commercial real estate firms, including Brookfield Properties. As a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania’s esteemed Wharton School, she earned her Bachelor of Science (BS) in Real Estate Finance. During her tenure at Wharton, she was also chosen to be part of the Joseph Wharton Scholar Honors Program. She founded a $300 million private equity fund in 2016 and now focuses her investments in real estate, equities, start-ups, and distressed opportunities. An ironman triathlete, she is passionate about volunteering and mentoring. She serves on the Board Of Directors of Habitat for Humanity New York City, mentors as a Big Sister and serves as a director on the board of the Asante Africa Foundation.
Sr. Vice President
Zlokower Company PR
Most recent achievement: This year, Gail marks her 16th year leading her team at Zlokower Company PR, one of New York City’s leading boutique public relations firms that specialize in real estate accounts. As senior vice president, Gail has led the company’s real estate practice providing hands on public relations services for some of the city’s most prominent commercial and residential real estate companies including The Carlton Group, Rosewood Realty, GAIA, Douglas Elliman, Paramount Realty, Corcoran, Townhouse Management, Romer Debbas, Cignature Realty, Vestian Global and many others. During the pandemic, Gail was pro-active and helped many of her clients become thought leaders offering front-line advice on the important post pandemic changes likely to result across the national and local real estate markets. A former journalist herself, Gail knows how to craft a story that attracts the media’s attention. She has grown Zlokower Company’s real estate development division by putting her years of experience and her longtime media relationships to work to get clients high level results essential to growing their brand and bottom line. Often mistaken for a broker herself for her real estate market savvy and knowledge, Gail has managed the print and digital marketing of many of the city’s luxury condominiums, achieving placements in New York Times, WSJ, NY Post, Crain’s, NBC’s Open House, Real Estate Weekly, Bloomberg, Forbes, The Real Deal, Commercial Observer, Bisnow and other national and local real estate media outlets. Before joining Zlokower, Gail ran her own public relations firm in Chappaqua, Westchester County. She brings a unique perspective to public relations having worked for over a decade on the “other side” as an award-winning journalist covering education, and later the entertainment industry at Gannett Newspapers and USA Today. A native Brooklynite, Gail has a journalism degree from New York University and is working towards a Masters in Urban Affairs from the New School.
Director of Operations
Most recent achievement: When Covid-19 hit, helping clients re-open safely in rapid fashion was of top priority for URBN Playground. To support this, Anna worked with staff at 30-plus buildings to implement and uphold Covid-19 compliance standards related to signage, cleaning logs, sanitation, supplying PPE, contact tracing, and reduced occupancy levels for gyms and amenity spaces. Anna was also responsible for overseeing the execution of socially-distanced events and virtual programming to promote and increase engagement within the communities managed by URBN Playground. She oversaw Covid-safe events such as Grab-and-Go Taco Tuesday, Chocolate & Wine Tasting, Virtual Tarot Card Readings, Virtual Fitness Classes, Restaurant Week Dinner Delivery, and Comedy for a Cause, among others. These events, which still continue till today, have been setting the stage for a new normal of staying safe at home while staying connected to the community. As a result, URBN Playground’s digital channel engagement has grown by 50 percent. Anna joined the firm from the fast-paced hospitality industry of food service in New York City. Driven by a personal passion for food, nutrition, and people, she climbed the food management ladder. Her fast-tracked career started in healthcare as a Patient Services manager to Director of Dining Services, managing multi-million-dollar accounts at top rated colleges throughout the city. Anna leads with enthusiasm and is able to tap into her creativity and operational expertise to help bring URBN to the forefront of the industry.
Executive Managing Director
JRT Realty Group
Ellen is among New York’s most illustrious commercial real estate professionals, with accomplishments exceeding 40 million square feet in sales and leasing transactions on behalf of owners, investors and tenants. During a distinguished career, surpassing three decades, Ellen has worked with some of the largest institutional and entrepreneurial real estate organizations, bringing a unique perspective from either side of a negotiating table. She is recognized for her excellence in complex leasing and investment sales transactions, her reputation to conceive and orchestrate innovative transactions is ubiquitous within commercial real estate. A senior team member, she represents the Department of Citywide Administrative Services (DCAS) with their 13 million s/f portfolio. Her list of clients include the MTA, Savanna, and Madison Marquette, among others. Ellen is involved with REBNY’s Commercial Brokerage Queens Committee and the Transportation Committee and works closely with the Young Men’s/Women’s Real Estate Association of New York (YMWREA) to mentor young real estate professionals. She serves as a member of the Alumni Board of Ithaca College. Ellen founded the New Leadership Group for the State of Israel Bonds Real Estate Division because of her commitment to Israel and community leadership.
Elizabeth (Liz) Latino
Senior Vice President, co-lead real estate practice
Most recent achievement: Throughout the pandemic, Liz has steadily and successfully helped her clients to navigate uncertain times, delivering results and ensuring the agency’s real estate clients, especially those in the proptech space, are gaining significant media recognition and are an integral part of the conversations surrounding the future of work and where the office market is heading. Most notably: Liz has spearheaded communications efforts for VTS, CRE’s leading tech platform as the rapidly growing SaaS company acquired Rise Buildings, a property operations and tenant experience platform. Coverage of the acquisition appeared in multiple top tier media outlets; in addition, VTS recently launched the VTS Office Demand Index (VODI), garnering significant media attention as the index has proved a valuable resource for reporters covering the state of the market amid the pandemic. Liz also led a team in generating positive publicity surrounding One Times Square, owned by Jamestown, the site of the annual New Year’s Eve Ball Drop Celebration, as the company pivoted to hosting a Virtual New Year’s Eve via an app. Positive publicity to build buzz around the Virtual New Year’s Eve app landed in top tier publications including The Wall Street Journal among others. Liz and her team have generated significant media coverage as Eden Workplace – a complete online platform for the modern hybrid office – released its Return to Office Survey. The findings revealed that 85% of office workers are looking to return to the office, naming the desire to be with coworkers as the main driver. Liz has grown with Marino for more than a decade and established herself as a go-to advisor for a diverse mix of brands and industries. Her colleagues and clients value her creativity, media relations expertise and caliber of commitment to service, as well as her upbeat attitude and skill in navigating even daunting challenges. She currently co-leads the real estate unit, and her client portfolio encompasses proptech companies, residential and commercial property owners and developers, brokerages, creative campuses and more. Among the accounts that have benefited from her expertise are VTS, Industry City, Cushman & Wakefield, TF Cornerstone, New York University, Walmart and Chelsea Market. Another measure of her talent and sense of investment in Marino’s future is the vast network of media relationships she has nurtured. Making the most of these connections, Liz has garnered media placements across print, television, radio and digital platforms. Liz has also been instrumental in developing and expanding the firm to its current capabilities. In addition to her account work, she oversees operations related to the agency’s people and experiences. A graduate of Loyola University in Maryland, Liz holds a Bachelor’s in Public Relations.
Real Estate Strategy Associate
Most recent achievement: Sarah has been instrumental in the growth of Vocon’s repositioning portfolio. In partnering with Vocon Principal, Tom Vecchione, their strategy and analysis have helped key developers rethink their spaces for innovation in the post-COVID world. Sarah provides strategic market analysis and oversight as a member of the real estate strategy group at Vocon, a full-service architecture and interior design firm. Sarah’s main focus is on building repositioning projects and she helps the team by analyzing current supply and demand trends across real estate markets. By collaborating with the design teams, Sarah helps align the design product with the current demands of the marketplace. Driven by a passion for detail-oriented analysis, she brings an understanding of the business case behind each deliverable for Vocon’s strategy team. Prior to Vocon, Sarah worked at KeyBanc Capital Markets as an Equity Research Senior Associate under the Consumer Tech vertical focused on Softlines and E-Commerce and helped develop proprietary data products for her clients. Sarah received her Bachelor of Science Degree with Finance and Marketing Concentrations from University of Virginia McIntire School of Commerce and went on to receive her master’s degree from New York University’s Schack Institute of Real Estate.
Kasowitz Benson Torres LLP
Most recent achievement: Jennifer and the Kasowitz team obtained a significant appellate victory for 111 West 57th Property Owner LLC, the property owner of the iconic 90-story luxury condominium located at 111 West 57th Street in Manhattan when the New York Supreme Court, Appellate Division, First Department, unanimously dismissed claims of breaches of fiduciary duty and constructive trust involving the condominium, brought by AmBase, a former indirect equity investor in the project. The Appellate Division also affirmed the cancellation of a lis pendens filed against the property. The towering 90-story condominium will be the world’s most slender skyscraper when completed. Previously, Jennifer and the Kasowitz team obtained a major appellate win for luxury real estate developer JDS Development when the Second Circuit unanimously affirmed the dismissal of RICO claims against JDS and several affiliates. AmBase and related investment entities sought treble damages for their claimed $70 million investment loss in the condominium. Jennifer and the Kasowitz team also secured the dismissal of related state court claims. Jennifer represents major real estate developers, hotel owners and developers, real estate and hospitality companies, and high-net-worth individuals in high-stakes, complex disputes involving large-scale commercial and hotel properties. She has been recognized as a Rising Star by Crain’s New York Business and Legal Media Group Expert Guides. She has a successful track record of recovering or defending against claims for hundreds of millions of dollars for clients and works with Kasowitz’s Real Estate Transactions group to counsel clients concerning the litigation implications of their agreements. Jennifer also represents vulnerable tenants, pro bono, in housing matters through Legal Services of the Hudson Valley.
Director, Estate Division
Most recent achievement: A top-producing broker, designer and trained negotiator, Gina and her team sold over $120 million in 2020. Ranked among the top one percent of agents nationwide, Gina has 16 years of real estate experience and a reputation for integrity, transparency, and intelligence. She joined the firm from Gina Michelle Project, a design and real estate firm she founded in 2009. Specializing in home renovations and design, she takes a unique approach to the way real estate is bought and sold, driven by the belief that every property can and should be sold as a renovated property. Through her exclusive partnership with PriceLift, Gina’s clients benefit from home and property upgrades and renovations prior to listing their homes for sale, which in most cases dramatically increase the selling price of a property — at no cost to the client. From professional home staging and interior design services to consulting on upgrades and renovations, Gina leverages relationships with the city’s top architects, designers, lenders and developers to offer her clients best-in-class service through every step of a transaction. Her innovative approach to real estate has been featured on NBC, Fox and CBS, among others, and continues to be a point of interest for those who invite her to speak and discuss the state of the current market in L.A. Her listings regularly sell within a two-week period and top out on price-per-square-foot for their respective neighborhoods. Gina earned her BA from California State University Northridge.
Most recent achievement: Rachelle has been able to provide perspectives to both the employees of her department and management, which has been beneficial in increasing the efficiency of her department and the BEB Capital team. Managing a team of four, Rachelle is hands on with accounts, understanding both the complex details of each unique client situation as well as the expectation from BEB Capital’s leadership. In this sense, she is the “glue” that ties her department together, finding common ground and fostering efficient collaboration. As Accounting Director for BEB Capital, Rachelle oversees the financial operations for the company’s investment and commercial efforts. She joined the company in 2019 and previously worked in BEB Capital’s family office. Rachelle has over 25 years of accounting experience, primarily in commercial real estate as well as residential, construction development, and hotels, and previously worked with Tishman Speyer Properties, The Lefrak Organization, and Milstein Properties. A graduate of St. John’s University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Accounting, she has served as a trustee of her church for the last five years, managing all church finances.
Most recent achievement: It’s a testament to Vanessa and her strong account relationships that almost all her clients who had to go on hiatus or reduce their scope of work during COVID are back and in full swing. In today’s world, this is a major accomplishment. During COVID Vanessa helped steer the firm with a level head and a strong hand. Vanessa’s real estate clients include Glenwood, Modern Spaces, 277 Fifth Avenue, Elegran, Platinum Luxury Auctions, Troon Pacific, Lifestyle Communities, Hill West Architects, Rock House for Grace Bay Resorts in Turks & Caicos, Whitehall Interiors, Troon Pacific Residential and Lifestyle Communities. Vanessa’s work in travel and luxury for clients, including Exclusive Resorts, Viceroy Hotels & Resorts DC, Club Med, Regent Seven Seas Cruises and Visit Fort Worth, enable Vanessa and her team to secure coverage for real estate clients in the important lifestyle and luxury media.
Vanessa and her team make one amazing placement after another in all the top media outlets, including The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Bloomberg, Worth, Architectural Digest, Financial Times, Fox TV, NY Post, Fast Company, Forbes, Business Insider, Billionaire, Departures, Travel + Leisure, Vogue and Conde Nast Traveler. They also set up highly effective partnerships with global brands, such as goop and Operation Smile. One client was so thrilled with something Vanessa and her team did for him that he promoted Quinn’s involvement to the public, something that is virtually unheard of our behind-the-scenes business. Vanessa is responsible for big-picture strategy, results and crisis for all her clients. They appreciate her calm under pressure and how she speaks her mind with clarity and grace. Vanessa is passionate about helping her team members grow and accomplish personal and professional visions. They, in turn, appreciate that their leader is approachable, smart and a positive problem-solver.
Real Estate Weekly
Most recent achievement: Linda O’Flanagan has steered Real Estate Weekly and therefore the entire real estate industry of New York City for 17 years. Throughout it all she has remained steadfast and unflappable, even as she and her staff report on the ever-changing landscape and fabric of one of the most real estate-obsessed cities in the world. Linda is always fair, positive and caring even as developers, lawyers and publicists pull at her for one thing, favor or another. Somehow – miraculously – Linda makes time for everyone who wants her ear and attention. Linda has never asked for anything in return. If the others are Leading Ladies, Linda is the Queen. Linda is NYC real estate. I sincerely hope you can find a way to celebrate and honor Linda in this great issue. No one deserves the recognition more. She joined Real Estate Weekly after a stint as editor-in-chief of Town & Village in New York. Linda got her start in journalism at the local newspaper in her native Scotland and rose to become chief copy editor at the nation’s biggest selling tabloid titles, the Daily Record and Sunday Mail in Glasgow. This Scottish transplant still carries her brogue from the hills and glens of her homeland, as those of us know who have had the pleasure of hearing it. All together, Linda has 30 years of international newspaper, magazine and online writing, editing, design and production experience. She is a much-loved team manager who builds relationships across the industry. Writing is her passion which she employs to effect positive outcomes.
Most Recent Achievement: Selling retail in a pandemic! Adelaide developed a user data base identifying buyer trends, a tool that became key to her success during the pandemic. When the city locked down and one of her sellers decided to leave and reduce the price of his retail condo, Adelaide was able to use her data base to identify end users looking for their own premises. She was able to sell the unit at 13 East 16th Street for $1,661 psf at a 4.5% cap rate. It was the only retail condo to trade in Manhattan in the first six month of the COVID pandemic. A renowned industry expert, for Adelaide real estate isn’t a job, it’s a way of life. With that passionate attitude and a deep well of talent, she’s been breaking records and shaping industry trends throughout her more than 30 years in the business. She has an impeccable decades-long track record of consistently selling real estate backed by extensive market knowledge, experience and a solid reputation of commitment to her customers. Her mission of treating each deal not as a commodity but as a creation, has allowed her to achieve record breaking prices for notable deals. She is also well established as the go-to broker for lenders, having sold portfolios of notes, loans and REO’s. A well-regarded co-op and condo expert, known for uncovering value by methodically structuring the various components of the real estate to generate optimum value, she has also created assemblages using inclusionary air rights and buying air rights from co-ops and condos, as well as unfolding entire co-ops and reorganizing the retail leases resulting in unexpected windfalls. With utter devotion to helping owners create wealth, Adelaide has earned a reputation for her methodical and strategic approach, her ability to identify and forecast trends, and her knack for creating opportunities and driving value. She’s also an uncanny matchmaker who considers every introduction an opportunity to connect people and drive deals.
Cushman & Wakefield
Recent Achievement: In 2019, Laura lead a team of brokers representing the landlord in leasing the 23,939 s/f retail space at 935 Broadway/161 Fifth Avenue, formerly the flagship for Restoration Hardware. CBRE represented the tenant, Warner Brothers, which is bringing the Wizarding World of Harry Potter to the iconic property later this year. The transaction is a significant not just as a personal achievement, but also for New York City and the new wave of experiential retail real estate AKA “retailtainment” that will be part of New York’s recovery from the COVID pandemic. The transaction displays Warner Brothers’ belief that New York City will be a strong market for them and a highly significant global platform. It solidifies the concept of the synergy of innovation, technology and experience, which is the trend for the future of retail and bricks and mortar. The transaction won REBNY’s Deal of the Year, one of many accolades Laura has collected over her years in the business. She was appointed as Cushman & Wakefield’s vice chairman when she merged her company, Laura Pomerantz Real Estate, with Cushman & Wakefield in 2014. Prior to establishing LPRE, Laura was a founding partner of PBS Gould Venture and a Senior Managing Director at Newmark & Company Real Estate. She was the Executive Vice President of The Leslie Fay Companies for 18 years. Laura specializes in strategic planning and tactical plan formation, office and retail tenant and landlord representation, lease negotiation, acquisition & development and equity investment. She has successfully concluded over 18,000,000 s/f of commercial transactions for clients including Bloomberg, Hudson’s Bay Company, Giorgio Armani, Abercrombie & Fitch, Stuart Weitzman, Levi and the Guggenheim Museum. Laura serves on several business boards including G-III and ROIC both NASDAQ companies. She and her husband John have had a life-long commitment to Jewish causes such as UJA, AJC, NCJW and Central Synagogue.
Co-Administrative Partner and
Leader of the Commercial Leasing Practice
Olshan Frome Wolosky LLP
Most recent achievement: Nina has served in a leadership role to the real estate industry, to her law firm and her clients from the onset of and throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, guiding and taking action to deal with the myriad of issues affecting all. Acting as both lawyer and business advisor, she counseled existing and new clients on the complex, evolving business and legal issues as a result of the pandemic and has taken a lead on restructuring situations for clients negotiating the most favorable terms possible, allowing for positioning for future success post pandemic. A nationally recognized commercial real estate lawyer focused on leasing, lease and loan restructuring, conveyancing and finance transactions, Nina acts as a trusted business advisor to companies and investors. She leads Olshan’s commercial leasing practice and advises clients across the U.S. in sophisticated commercial real estate transactions. She actively represents and advises landlords and tenants in lease restructuring situations across the country and also represents landlords and tenants in flexible workspace leases and structured revenue sharing deals. Nina acts as landlord’s counsel at numerous office buildings in New York City and represents hedge funds, sports and entertainment companies, technology companies, medical institutions, start- ups and finance companies in leasing space. In addition, Nina manages complex retail leasing transaction projects on behalf of numerous developers and owners at high profile retail sites across the U.S. Along with serving as co-administrative partner and leader of the Commercial Leasing Practice, Nina is chair of Olshan’s Hiring Committee and the founder and chair of Olshan’s Women’s Committee which serves as a networking, business development and mentoring platform for the firm’s women lawyers and their clients and colleagues.
CEO & Founder
Most recent achievement: In the last year, Suzanne has transformed her agency to represent real estate clients with a full-service marketing, branding and digital agency with the introduction of The 360 Suite. She also created The Purpose Method, which uses AI technology and consulting to help build a deeper purpose into businesses. Most recently, Suzanne created Relevance Rapport, a podcast and web series where she interviews real estate heavy hitters such as Don Peebles, the Chairman and CEO of The Peebles Corporation; Jonathan Miller, President and CEO of Miller Samuel Inc.; Colleen Wenke, President and COO of Taconic Partners; Miki Naftali, Chairman and CEO of Naftali Group, and many more. Suzanne was a recent speaker at Concierge Auctions’ BLOCKtalk: Incredible Women in Real Estate. With over 20 years of real estate PR experience, Suzanne is the lead brand strategist and trusted advisor overseeing the agency’s impressive global real estate, hospitality, design, corporate and tech portfolio. She founded Relevance International in New York City in 2012, organically built the additional London office in 2017 and most recently created the Los Angeles office in 2019. Her array of clients benefit from her global relationships and reach into key markets. With major names such as Taconic Partners, Concierge Auctions, The Witkoff Organization, Fisher Brothers, F&T Group, Houlihan Lawrence, Don Peebles, Equity Office, Sotheby’s International Real Estate Associates, Trimont Real Estate Advisors and more utilizing the firm’s expertise, she has led – and built – the best in the business. A trusted crisis advisor, PR strategist and brand marketing guru, she ushers in many creative partnerships and big ideas to create awareness and impact. Her campaigns have won numerous Bulldog PR and PR News Awards and she is a highly sought-after speaker. Prior to Relevance, she spent a decade at Quinn, where she was a partner and owner. Earlier, she worked at the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the GYMR agency, both in Washington D.C. Suzanne began her career at Laykin Communications in Hong Kong. Suzanne graduated from the EW Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University.
Susan L. Saslow
Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP
Most recent achievement: As a powerhouse in the industry, Susan has advised on real estate transactions around the country valued at over $1.3 billion in just the past year. She is a vital member of the team, helping to lead a number of recent notable transactions which include: Representation of a hospitality REIT in a joint venture in connection with $865 million mortgage and mezzanine loans to refinance a portfolio of 46 hotels across the country; Representation of Savanna in the $242 million acquisition financing of 521 Fifth Avenue, a 39-story office tower in Midtown Manhattan, one block from Grand Central Terminal. As Counsel in the Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP real estate practice, Susan brings a broad range of experience to commercial real estate and finance transactions. Her work encompasses all aspects
of real estate transactional matters, including commercial acquisitions and dispositions, joint ventures, real estate finance, construction, development and leasing. She has extensive experience advising institutional clients, private investors and developers in sophisticated debt and equity financings for transactions involving multistate, multi-property portfolios; mezzanine financings; securitized loan originations; construction loans; and loan participations.
Vice President of Marketing & Communications
Most recent achievement: Welcoming tenants back to 3 World Trade Center to support a smooth return to the office after the pandemic. Over the past ten years at Silverstein, Jessica has strategically and effectively bolstered the leasing efforts across the entire commercial portfolio. Her main focus is the World Trade Center – one the city’s most challenging and high-profile redevelopment projects. She has worked closely with our leasing team to market, publicize and fill 7 World Trade Center, 4 World Trade Center and 3 World Trade Center with innovative, forward-thinking and notable tenants across a variety of industries. Her years of first-class work and experience have enabled Jessica to understand how to market properties at every stage: development, construction, operating and acquisition. She also manages marketing and communications for 1735 Market Street in Philadelphia. Jessica earned a Bachelor of Arts and Science in Psychology from American University, and a Master’s degree in Strategic Communications from Columbia University. She is a licensed Real Estate Salesperson in the state of New York.
Partner, Chair of Real Estate
Herrick, Feinstein LLP
Most recent achievement: As a member of firm’s Executive Committee and chair of the Real Estate Department, Belinda is proud to work with the firm to promote diversity and inclusion on many levels at Herrick. Mentorship and camaraderie are also very important to Belinda, and she states, “It’s been very rewarding and inspiring to work with incredible young professionals and watch them grow into brilliant and creative senior members of a cohesive and well-regarded team.” Belinda has chaired Herrick’s Real Estate Department since 2014, been a member of the firm’s
Executive Committee since 2017 and is a 30-plus year veteran of NYC’s commercial real estate market. She is a leader and mentor for 60-plus attorneys and urban planners (23 of which are women) and one of the only women in the country to chair a major commercial real estate practice. Clients value her ability to find common ground in negotiations and achieve a desirable outcome as swiftly as possible. Her clients include prominent developers, owners, funds, investors and family-owned real estate businesses, whom she advises in complex debt and equity transactions including real estate restructurings and workouts; fund formation; property acquisitions and sales; joint ventures; development deals; construction matters; ground and commercial leases. Belinda has significant experience representing investors from China, Israel, Turkey and South America, looking to invest in CRE in the U.S., either as principals, mezzanine investors or preferred equity providers.
Chief Executive Officer
Most recent achievement: Successfully assisted in getting clients and the OMG team through COVID with relentless dedication to making every day and every dollar count. Ilana and her team developed leading marketing strategies helping stabilize multifamily properties across the nation, lease up successful rental properties, and sell out at condominium properties across NYC. As principal of OMG, Ilana has built a successful agency that enables developers and owners to market their properties effectively. For over 20 years, her insight and expertise in data capture and analysis have driven effective marketing strategies for 100’s of national and regional clients, allowing their properties to flourish in a saturated marketplace. Ilana is responsible for developing and overseeing OMG’s products and processes, as well as managing over 25 specialists whom she has trained and managed. Ilana is extremely focused on data analysis and getting to the core of how people behave online. Above all, she is a student of consumer behavior and the Internet – what works, what doesn’t and why. Ilana began her career working on and off-site with both sales and rentals, developing marketing techniques that served as a foundation for building and expanding OMG into the company that it is today.
Cassandra (Cassie) Small
Most recent achievement: As a member of the Quinn’s leadership team, Cassie was instrumental in helping the firm navigate its way through COVID. She was often the person in the room holding firm to the tough business decisions. During one of the most devastating years in recent history, Cassie and her team were able to get her residential, mixed-use and commercial real-estate clients into top-tier media, including The New York Times, Forbes and The Wall Street Journal numerous times. For NYC brokerage MNS, they secured 207 placements for a total of 1,107,717,147 media impressions in 2020 which was a 54 percent increase from the previous year. Despite COVID, Cassie and her team successfully launched a commercial office development called The Warehouse with Newmark, placing the building in Real Estate Weekly, Commercial Observer and on The Real Deal’s Instagram as a takeover to reach the important brokerage community. Cassie and her team also tapped into Influencers for tours and content. Cassie also launched a residential development during the pandemic, placing Watermark in Washington, D.C. in both the Washington Post and Washingtonian, which delivered nearly 1,600 new visitors to Watermark’s website. Most remarkable of all is that Cassie was able to sign up some amazing new clients during COVID, including Residences at Mandarin Oriental (London), Springboard (London), St. Regis Los Cabos, St. Regis Cap Cana, Desenio, Gather Amenities, AvantStay. She was recently tapped by Compass to work on New Empire’s 208 Delancey. As busy as she is, Cassie makes time to help Quinn LA grow its real estate business. Here’s what folks say about Cassie: Cassie knows how to command a room, and she knows the real-estate game. People listen to her and value her opinion. There is no jargon with Cassie, no lead up, no wasted time. She’s very smart, strategic and outspoken. She’s hilarious and sharp-minded. Cassie runs her team like a tight ship with Cassie as the colonel. Prior to joining Quinn in 2014, Cassie was a managing director at Hundred Stories, a NYC-based real-estate PR firm. Cassie is fearless and tells it like it is.
Human Resources Manager
Most recent achievement: A few of Lilliana’s most recent accomplishments include being instrumental in supporting BEB Capital’s growth by spearheading the recruitment efforts for the company over the last year. In addition, she spearheaded a COVID related return to work plan, by establishing policies and procedures that allowed for a safe return to work back in June of 2020. As Human Resources Manager for BEB Capital, Lilliana is responsible for all aspects of the employee life cycle. With over 10 years of HR experience, including several years of luxury hospitality experience where a focus on superior guest services was required to uphold five-star service standards, she developed her current motto, “Employees are my internal guests.” Lilliana uses this same approach in her position in Human Resources at BEB Capital, where her people-focused approach enables her to create a culture and working environment that supports current employees and attracts future employees. She earned a B.A. in Sociology from Hunter College, donates to organizations such as Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Long Island and The Lupus Foundation and has been a sponsor of a child for several years through Children International.
Senior Project Manager, Geotechnical
Most recent achievement: Domenica is the project manager for five miles of waterfront rehabilitation and a seven-acre park in Manhattan. The project includes multiple agency and consultant coordination under tight deadlines and with several project variables. Domenica is meeting milestones and moving the project forward. A professional engineer with 19 years of experience working on some of New York’s key waterfront initiatives. Domenica has successfully delivered the Rockaway Boardwalk redevelopment and storm resiliency project in Queens; the Manhattan Cruise Terminal Pier 88 west apron replacement; reconstruction of the waterfront and tidal pools at Roberto Clemente State Park; cyclical inspection of piers, wharves, bulkheads and pile fields within Hudson River Park; and comprehensive “on-call” marine engineering services for waterfront sites in all five boroughs of New York City. In addition to managing waterfront projects, Domenica has performed structural analysis, resident engineering services, permit applications, construction inspections and support of local and international container ports, piers, bulkheads, and engineered shorelines. She was issued her Envision Sustainability Professional certification (ENV SP) in 2015 and Waterfront Alliance WEDG Associate in 2020. In 2019, Professional Women in Construction named Domenica one of its 20 Under 40 Outstanding Women in Construction.
Vice President of Consulting
Most recent achievement: Connie worked with both NYC developers and general contractors to assemble a full-service expediting and compliance program for all phases of construction. As vice president of consulting, Connie works with both New York City developers and general contractors to assemble a full-service expediting and compliance program for all phases of construction. With over 15 years of experience as a member of the Domani Consulting team, Connie has worked hand-in-hand with the Department of Buildings and other city agencies on some of the largest projects in NYC. Connie leads a team of expediters and is charged with overseeing all Certificate of Occupancy projects and various other specialty projects.
Barbara Wagner Communications LLC
Most recent achievement: Starting her own public relations firm in 2021 after 17 years with the powerhouse New York City PR firm, Rubenstein. Barbara has hit the ground running during one of the most turbulent times in the real estate sector, employing her expertise to elevate the profile and showcase the dexterity of her clients, who include developers, tech leaders and artists. Barbara is a communications specialist who bases her work relationships on a simple philosophy — the most effective ones start with listening. Her career history includes working with such noteworthy companies as Steiner Studios, Douglas Elliman, ShowingTime, Jamestown, Toll Brothers City Living, the Tavistock Group, Growing Bolder, Equity Residential, The Collective, the Empire State Building, Cushman & Wakefield, and Macklowe Properties. Passionate about the arts, she has collaborated with artists Tom Otterness, Will Ryman and Jim Watt, as well as Marlborough Gallery, the Museum of Arts & Design (MAD), the Brooklyn Children’s Museum, the New York Botanical Garden, the New York Public Library, the High Line and the Indianapolis Museum of Art. Her knowledge and expertise in economic development has helped promote Brooklyn’s DUMBO (Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass) and Greenpoint Landing, along with Staten Island’s Empire Outlets. Before starting her own firm, Barbara was an executive vice president at Rubenstein. As a journalist she wrote articles for New York Magazine, the Ladies Home Journal, Cosmopolitan, IBM and Success. Earlier in her career, she was assistant managing editor of Cosmopolitan. Barbara graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Long Island University with a B.A. in Art History.
Great Ink Communications
Most recent achievement: Sara has two decades of public relations experience largely focused on commercial real estate entities. She has been able to seamlessly translate her media savvy to surmounting the challenges presented by the pandemic and has helped lead members of the team at Great Ink through re-evaluating and re-shaping media relations campaigns for many of the largest CRE players in New York City and nationwide. Her experience includes hands-on work counseling firms including Hines, CBRE, Populous, Waterton and Marx Realty on elevating their brands via public relations. Having lived and worked in three of the United States’ most prolific urban centers – Boston, New York, and Chicago – Sara has always been one to entrench herself in her clients’ products. As a student at Boston University, she endured two semesters of aerospace engineering coursework before realizing her skills were much better suited to a career in public relations. Soon after graduating, she began the work of promoting the products and accessories that decorate our lives. From plumbing products and appliances to textiles, furnishings, building materials, and, most recently, real estate entities, her experience spans many business sectors but, one constant remains: a passion for the places where we live, work and play.